The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday summoned representatives of the interior ministry on a petition seeking the court’s intervention for registration of a criminal case against the firebrand cleric of Lal Masjid, Abdul Aziz.
While admitting the petition for regular hearing, Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani directed the deputy attorney general to appear in person on the next date of hearing.
Muhammad Jibran Nasir had approached the IHC requesting to set aside an order of the district court and direct the respondents to register an FIR against Aziz, his wife, and students of Jamia Hafsa for pledging allegiance to the so-called Islamic State.
Nasir, who is a lawyer by profession, moved the high court after Additional District and Sessions Judge Raja Asif Mehmood, dismissed his application on March 7, observing that the complainant lacked legal standing.
He has made the Islamabad’s Justice of Peace, Ministry of Interior, inspector general of police, the SSP and the SHO Aabpara Police Station respondents in the case.
In the petition, he said that some students of Jamia Hafsa released a video on social media wherein they invited Daesh to intervene in Pakistan and kill soldiers and civilians, chop off their hands, behead them, and tear their bodies apart to take revenge for the killing of Osama bin Laden, a global terror kingpin, and 2007 Lal Masjid military operation.
He maintained that after the release of video, Aziz through another video appreciated and endorsed the students’ message and stated that “the mission of the proscribed terrorist organisation Daesh/ISIS/ISIL/IS/Islamic State for implementation of the caliphate system and his mission are the same.”
While referring to a story published in The Express Tribune in December 2014, the petitioner said Aziz not only owned the message, but also admitted that the video was prepared with his consent.
Nasir also mentioned in the petition that Aziz’s name is present in the list of proscribed persons in the 4th Schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997, adding Aziz, his wife, and students of Jamia Hafsa had earlier taken up arms against the state which resulted in the infamous Lal Masjid operation.
Further, the activist said a Pakistan-based proscribed terrorist organisation called ‘Ansarul Islam’ had joined Daesh in 2014 and “now runs a militant camp in Syria named after Maulana Abdul Aziz’s brother Abdul Rasheed Ghazi, who was killed in the armed forces’ operation of 2007.”
He added that the allegiance towards Daesh, propagating and supporting its agenda and calling them for revenge clearly constitutes cognisable offences of serious nature that threaten the national security as well as peace and order in the society.
“Openly showing allegiance to it, supporting and furthering its agenda in Pakistan and urging it to attack the armed forces and law enforcement agencies of Pakistan, are acts which cannot and must not be ignored,” he stated.
Despite this, he said, the respondents failed to take any action against Aziz and others. He maintained that the district court committed a grave error and therefore the impugned order was liable to be set aside.
Nasir has requested the court to direct the respondents to register a case against Aziz, his wife, and students of Jamia Hafsa under sections of the 1997 ATA, Protection of Pakistan Act, 2014, Pakistan Penal Code in light of the facts reported in the petition.